What if the Caliphate fails to recognize how nuanced our airstrikes are?
— Stephen Green (@VodkaPundit) August 8, 2014
At Hot Air, Noah Rothman charts “Obama’s exquisite political predicament in Iraq:”
The times, they are a’changing. With American air assets executing strikes on ISIS targets in Iraq, it seems like only yesterday that the administration was taking credit for ending the Iraq War and trying to erase any memory of that painful period. That is probably because it essentially was only yesterday. For example, the administration has regularly insisted that it supports the repeal of the 2002 congressional resolution which authorized the use of force in Iraq. As recently as July 25, the White House insisted that Congress should repeal that resolution which provided the president with the legal authority to execute military strikes inside Iraq. “We believe a more appropriate and timely action for Congress to take is the repeal of the outdated 2002 Authorization for Use of Military Force in Iraq,” read a July 25 letter sent to House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) from White House National Security Advisor Susan Rice. The pursuit of the repeal of the AUMF in Iraq was an exercise in service to a political goal, of course, and not a strategic one. That AUMF, which remains in place now, is providing this administration with the legal authority to not only execute strikes inside Iraq in defense of American assets and personnel, but to possibly carry out strikes on ISIS targets which do not immediately threaten American interests.
Meanwhile, Glenn Reynolds crowbars the manhole cover off the Memory Hole:
NATIONAL JOURNAL:The World Will Blame Obama If Iraq Falls. Well, yes. It was stable and relatively peaceful — so much that Obama and Biden were bragging about it — and then he blew the Status Of Forces Agreement negotiations because, fundamentally, he didn’t want troops to stay.
Related: What Kind Of Iraq Did Obama Inherit?
Plus, I’m just going to keep running this video of what the Democrats, including Harry Reid and Hillary Clinton, were saying on Iraq before the invasion:
Because I expect a lot of revisionist history over the next few months.
Speaking of which, it will be fascinating to watch where the anti-war, pro-Obama left zigs and zags next. What say you on the topic, Bruce?
And finally, “Who Are These ISIS Guys and Why Is Obama Willing to Bomb Them?” Michael Ledeen knows — and adds that while the Iranians initially dug ISIS, “in keeping with its well-documented practice of supporting all sides in other countries’ internal conflicts, they “should have been more careful what they wished for:”
ISIS did altogether too well, and declared “the Caliphate,” which excited still more followers. The Iranians don’t like this at all (they like the idea of “the Caliphate” just fine, but under the rule of their very own supreme leader, not some nut case named al-Baghdadi). So the Iranians are now fighting ISIS, but they’re over-committed in Syria and all over Iraq. Ergo, when you ponder President Obama’s decision to (maybe) intervene against ISIS in Iraq, keep in mind that such a move would please Tehran. At least for the moment. Keep another thing in mind, too. Please. The Iranians are not nearly as brilliant as a lot of pundits think they are (I mean, they’ve thoroughly wrecked their own country, after all), and on this one, if I’m right, they unleashed a real monster that is threatening some of their most basic interests (above all, Bashar Assad). And now there’s the possibility of a new monster on the block: American military operations right next door. To the great benefit of the Kurds. Who are yet another threat to Tehran… Too clever by half. They’re not the only ones…
Indeed, to borrow a favorite Insta-aphorism:
FACT: President Obama kept his promise to end the war in Iraq. Romney called the decision to bring our troops home “tragic.”
— Barack Obama (@BarackObama) October 22, 2012
Update: “TWO retired four-star generals blast Obama for failing to use ‘decisive’ force in Iraq with ‘pinprick’ attacks for ‘political posturing,’” according to the London Daily Mail — which adds a grim spin on the tweet by Steve Green at the top of this post.
At Power Line, Paul Mirengoff adds, “if this is all Obama accomplishes, he will have accomplished little. And pretty soon, the jayvee’s blitz will produce another crisis that will grab the attention of even our criminally inattentive president.”
Now that “the Bear is Loose,” he’ll see a squirrel soon enough.